ABOUT NEW WEST SYMPHONY & CHORUS

Who are We?

New West Symphony & Chorus was started in 2010.  What began with 30 volunteer members has grown to close to 100 members, each committed to New West’s vision to use music as a conduit to bless others.  They have quickly gained recognition in Calgary, and consistently fill churches and auditoriums at their concerts throughout the year.  New West Symphony & Chorus holds three major sell-out events per season: Christmas with New West at the Jack Singer Concert Hall, a major fundraiser in early spring, and a Spring Concert in late May at the Bella Music Hall at Mount Royal University.

NWSC performs approximately 15 times per year, performing choral and orchestral music that includes genres such as classical, pop, gospel and contemporary.

They exist to “bless people of all age, leading them to experience love through music, community and compassionate giving.”

The members of New West Symphony & Chorus constantly pursue excellence, while also fostering a sense of belonging within their membership and audiences. They uphold honesty and respect, paired with being fun and inspiring others.  It is their goal to use their differences to create a greater whole.

choral performances

Over the years, New West Symphony & Chorus has had the privilege of collaborating with several other local arts organizations.  Here’s a short list of some of the groups NWSC has performed with:

  • Calgary Jazz Orchestra
  • Centre Street Church Choir and Orchestra
  • Fire Exit Theatre
  • First Alliance Church Choir and Orchestra
  • Harmony through Harmony
  • The Core Choir
  • Johnny Summers
  • Rocky Mountain College Choir and Orchestra

Meet our Musical Director: Henric Ideström

Henric joined New West Society as Musical Director in 2017.  Amazingly, he is also currently the Director of New York’s SymphoNYChorus, travelling weekly between the two cities.  Henric had an eight-year tenure as Chair of the Arts at Rocky Mountain College in Calgary. While at RMC, he conducted numerous productions including Night at the Oscars and Give My Regards to Broadway.

Henric spent a number of years at Centre Street Church conducting the choir and orchestra and building their worship and arts department.  He also produced six recordings, two of which won SHAI Gospel Music Awards in 2007. He was then honored in 2008 with the Gospel Music Association’s Covenant Award for Choir Album of the Year. Henric received his Masters in Conducting from Azusa Pacific University in California.

Henric brings his passion to everything he does, and inspires loyalty and engagement from his members by challenging them to perform like professionals and introducing new music every season. The chorus and orchestra provides an environment for deep camaraderie to form in a city that can be a rather lonely place. Audiences keep coming back to be energized and inspired by the ever-changing repertoire and enthusiastic performances.

Our Executive Leadership Team:

  • Executive Director, New West Society: Darryn Werth
  • Associate Executive Director, New West Society: Steve Lenz
  • Operations Director, New West Society: Dulaine Lough
  • Associate Operations Director, New West Symphony & Chorus: Carrie Lynn Johnstone
  • Creative Director, New West Society: Nicole Blenkin
  • Associate Creative Director, New West Society: Kristin Schaefer
  • Music Director, New West Symphony & Chorus: Henric Ideström
  • Associate Music Director, New West Symphony & Chorus: Jerry Proppe
  • Music Director, New West Student Ensemble: David Klob
  • Associate Music Director, New West Student Ensemble: Matthew Ellis
  • Associate Operations Director, New West Student Ensemble: Andrea Ellis
  • Director, New West Music Academy: Desiree Arthur

Members of the Board, New West Society:

  • Joe Essenburg – Chair
  • Lily Lau-Porta – Secretary
  • Dave Dart – Treasurer
  • Ruth Esau
  • Steve Lenz
  • Dan Clarke
  • Jen Bodiguel

Our History:

New West Symphony & Chorus was founded in 2010 by Jonathan & Kristin Schorr.  Their vision for musical excellence, community and generosity created a legacy that all divisions of New West Society are proud to continue to this day.

Past Music Directors:

  • Jonathan Schorr (2010-2015)
  • David Klob (2015-2017)

Symphony Members

STRINGS

Bridget McLeod

Viola

Member since 2013.

Leanne Keegstra

Violin

Member since 2010.

Andrea Elias

Violin

Member since 2018.

Kiara Rautenbach

Violin

Member since 2019.

Jerry Proppe

Cello

Member since 2019.

Kari Calderwood

Harp

Member since 2019.

WOODWINDS

Joanne Sampson

Clarinet and alto saxophone

Member since 2010.

Lily Lau-Porta

Flute

Member since 2010.

Melanie Dewar

Oboe

Member since 2010.

Scott Regnault

Bassoon

Member since 2012.

BRASS

Jon McInnis

Trumpet

Member since 2014.

Robert Calderwood

French Horn

Member since 2011.

Ron Strem

Trombone

Member since 2010.

Steven Lenz

French Horn

Member since 2015.

Sylvia Polachuck

Trombone

Member since 2017.

Zakk Relf

Ephonium

Member since 2018.

Darryn Werth

Trumpet

Member since 2013.

RHYTHM & PIANO

Colleen Roller

Piano

Member since 2010.

Andrea Friesen

Piano

Member since 2021.

Steven Warren

Percussion

Member since 2012.

Joe Essenburg

Bass Guitar

Member since 2011.

Chorus Members

SOPRANOS

Carrie Lynne Johnstone

Member since 2010.

Christina Wiebe

Member since 2014.

Connie Albers

Member since 2013.

Desiree Arthur

Member since 2010.

Eve Wollin

Member since 2010.

Gail Thiessen

Member since 2017.

Kayla Pallister

Member since 2017.

Laura Jay

Member since 2010.

Nicole Warren

Member since 2012.

Shannon Plintz

Member since 2013.

Sylvia Brophy

Member since 2010.

Vanessa Calderwood

Member since 2015.

Michelle Heibert

Member since 2018.

Breanne Neufeld

Member since 2018.

Wendy Dart

Member since 2019.

Teresa Frentz

Member since 2019.

Amy Ly

Member since 2019.

Robin Ideström

Member since 2019.

ALTOS

Andrea Ellis

Member since 2013.

Cathy Kokot

Member since 2017.

Cindy Zarn

Member since 2016.

Dallas Belbeck

Member since 2010.

Evelyn Eisses

Member since 2017.

Melanie Loewen

Member since 2018.

Melanna Heebner

Member since 2010.

Nicole Youngash

Member since 2012.

Rose-Anne Bishop

Member since 2010.

Tilly Hiebert

Member since 2017.

Ana Kerley

Member since 2018.

Val Wedel

Member since 2018.

Dulaine Lough

Member since 2018.

Claudia Obando

Member since 2019.

Bethany Wikkerink

Member since 2019.

Nadine DeBruyn

Member since 2019.

Kelly Kreiger

Member since 2019.

TENORS

Charles Arthur

Member since 2010.

Daniel Clarke

Member since 2017.

Brian Li

Member since 2012-2014. 2017-

Dan Blenkin

Member since 2013-2015. 2017-

Kent Potter

Member since 2018.

Pierrick Gelinas

Member since 2019.

Dave Dart

Member since 2019.

Nathan DeBruyn

Member since 2019.

Barry Frentz

Member since 2020.

BASSES

Christopher Wiebe

Member since 2012.

Kevin Weir

Member since 2010.

Will Benner

Member since 2018.

Dustin Kerley

Member since 2018.

Jeff Brunner

Member since 2018.

Markus Lemke

Member since 2019.

Peter Lottes

Member since 2018.

Travis Loewen

Member since 2020.

Technical Support

James Wedel

Technical Support

Member since 2018.

Nicole Blenkin

Creative Director

Member since 2019.

Conductors

Chris Neufeld

Member since 2018.

Henric Idestrom

Member since 2017.